Te Kuiti Primary School - 11/08/2020

School Context

Te Kuiti Primary School is located at the northern end of the Te Kuiti township. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 324 includes 171 Māori and a small number of students from culturally diverse backgrounds, including 14 Pacific students.

The school’s vision has recently been reviewed in consultation with staff and community. It states, ‘together we grow legends’. Core values of ‘loyalty, empathy, growth, excellence, nurture and determination (L.E.G.E.N.D.s)’ are fostered throughout the school.

The 2020 strategic plan identifies three key goals:

  • develop a place where L.E.G.E.N.D.s thrive
  • build a L.E.G.E.N.D learner
  • enhance L.E.G.E.N.D.ary partners.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the December 2016 ERO report a new principal has been appointed and the deputy principal has remained the same. At the end of 2019 the leadership structure was reviewed, and two assistant principals appointed. There have been some changes to the teaching team and board of trustees.

The school is a member of the Waitomo Arotahi Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is working towards achieving equity and excellence for all students.

Achievement data for 2019 shows that most students achieved expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

This data also indicates that there is disparity between Māori and Pākehā students in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls achieve at higher levels than boys in reading and mathematics, and at significantly higher levels in writing.

A large majority of Pacific students achieve expectations in reading and writing, and most in mathematics.

Students with additional learning needs are making good progress against their individual learning, social and behaviour goals.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is effectively accelerating learning for Māori and other students who need this.

Data provided by the school shows at risk students, including Māori, made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Students learn in orderly and supportive learning environments. They benefit from warm and respectful relationships with their teachers. Students are encouraged to work independently and cooperatively with their peers in ability and social groupings. Classrooms are well resourced. There are many opportunities for students to be involved across curriculum areas, including sports, education outside the classroom and performing arts. Parent and whānau involvement are welcomed in a wide range of school activities. The school’s core values are well known by the school community and contribute to equitable outcomes for all students.

A culture of high relational trust has been developed by leaders. They model and promote collaboration to support change and improvement. Since the previous ERO review, leaders have identified school priorities for improved practice. Several school systems and processes have been reviewed and useful frameworks have been developed to support consistent schoolwide practices.

Leaders have established a clear strategic direction that aligns with parent, whānau and community aspirations. They are well supported by trustees who scrutinise achievement information they receive to inform resourcing decisions. Trustees are supportive of all initiatives to accelerate progress for students, including those who are underachieving.

Students whose wellbeing and learning is at-risk are well supported through health and care initiatives. Useful systems and processes to identify and monitor at risk students have been developed. The school uses a wide range of strategies and accesses input from external agencies where appropriate to support these students. Sponsorship from within the local community provides additional resourcing to support students’ equitable access to learning opportunities.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders need to review schoolwide targets so that they include all those learners whose learning and progress need acceleration. They should report regularly to the board on the rates of acceleration and include evaluation of the impact of classroom programmes and interventions.

In order to achieve equity and excellence further development is needed in building teacher capability. Priority should be given to:

  • improving teacher confidence to deliver the school’s documented curriculum including the sequential te ao Māori programme
  • strengthening staff understanding and implementation of effective assessment, planning, tracking and monitoring processes
  • supporting students to understand and better manage their progress and next learning steps
  • developing middle leadership capacity to lead learning and establish a more consistent approach to schoolwide systems and processes particularly for students whose learning needs acceleration.

3 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Te Kuiti Primary School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that builds a collaborative and positive school culture
  • provision for children with additional needs that supports equitable access to learning
  • broad range of curriculum opportunities that focus on student interests and learning needs.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • schoolwide target setting and reporting that focuses on acceleration of student progress
  • strengthening teacher capability to meet the needs of at-risk learners
  • strengthening practices that enable students to monitor and make decisions about their learning pathways.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to appointment practices.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • ensure appointment practices in relation to background checks include citing both a primary and secondary identification document.
    [Children’s Act 2014]

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 August 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.